Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Perfect Storm at Cloverdale's Ice Palace.

Cloverdale Star Wars Club

The prefect storm converged at the Cloverdale Ice Palace last Tuesday. It was 9:30 P.M. The UNSC Spartan club reserved the Palace for an ice planet attack simulation. The UNSC is affiliated with The Confederacy of Dunces’s Grand Halo Alliance with clubs in many villages and hamlets country wide. The reservation included an after hour party complete with cake, party hats, and blow ticklers with feathers. The Spartan’s Generals were armed with battle rifles, hand crafted from pvc pipe and plastic. Each rifle was equipped with a scope and weapon chamber capable of holding up to 50 miniature marshmallows for firing in rapid secession. Lower ranked Spartans carried assault rifles.

The UNSC Spartans had just taken to the ice when a problem arose. Apparently the 14 year old attendant, Brooken Bailey, messed up and doubled booked the Palace. At 9:40 P.M. the Storm Troopers of Cloverdale, a Star Wars club, arrived in two minivans decorated as Xwing fighters. The 'wings' were built from discarded ironing boards riveted to the back of the vans. Tonight was their 'Battle for Ice Planet Hoth' simulation. Half the club's members were dressed as Imperial Storm Troopers with costumes made from multiple clorox bottles cut in half. Half the bottles were placed around the front of the legs and arms and the other half around the back. The halves were strung together by white shoelaces. The face masks were made from paper mache. The blasters were modified paint ball guns.

The other half of the club played the role of the rebel alliance. They had light sabers made of broom sticks painted with fluorescent paint. The rebels were led by the club's president Donnie Drump. He assumed the role of Luke Skywalker at all club gatherings and played the part well. If you asked politely Donnie would model Luke's defiant stand from the first Star Wars movie. He stands straight with one hand on his hip. One foot rests higher than the other on an unseen rock. He stares ahead, looking at the planet's two setting suns. He strikes an imposing figure for a 40 year old out of shape parking lot attendant.

The two clubs met at the center of the ice ring. The teen age attended stood between them. The boy attempted to find a compromise but negotiations broke down. A shouting match ensued. Brooken ran for the phone and dialed 999 for the constable. From his desk he witness the shot heard round the ring. A Spartan fired his air compressed battle rifle. The marshmallow raced through the air in search of its target. Brooken cringed as Donnie Drump was hit square in the face knocking him from his 'Luke Skywalker in the setting suns' pose and onto the ice.
"Luke is hit," shouted someone from the rebel side.
"Attack!" shouted another.
The two clubs surged forward. Broom sticks swung in an attempt to block the incoming paint balls. Marshmallows filled the air and fell like hail on the scrummage below. There was slapping and screaming. There was kicking and biting. There was scratching and hair pulling.

The constable wouldn’t arrive for 20 minutes. Brooken was responsible for the Palace and its equipment. If this continued there would be serious damage. He had to think of something. His concentration was interrupted by the shouting of a voice he thought he recognized. He looked up and saw Darth Vader attempting to slow the advancing Spartans with the Force. His hand was up as if he were a traffic cop signaling oncoming cars to stop.
"The Force will stop you!" he bellowed. It didn’t. A 300 pound Spartan soldier tackled him to the ice. They slid across the ice wrapped in each others arms, slamming into the side board. Vadar’s helmet was ejected leaving his face exposed. Brooken recognized him, it was Wilbur Frumply, assistant principal at the Middle School. Frumply looked like he couldn’t breath Brooken remembered the Star Wars movie and remembered that Darth Vader needed the mask to breath. Brooken was impressed with Frumply's acting skills. Frumply was doing more than acting. He began squirming and pounding his black gloved fist on the ice. Brooken realized he really couldn’t breath. He had the wind knocked out of him.

Brooken had to think of something fast. An idea came to him. He knew that both the Halo and the Star Wars Clubs hated the local Star Trekkers Club. Brooken knew it was jealousy. The Trekkers were a fixture in Cloverdale since their founding in 1968. They held the longest running continuous club meeting in the community hall. The Trekkers were invited to participate in parades and help usher whenever a Star Trek movie was playing at the local Cinema. They were allowed to provide security for the Shire Fair every year and hosted the science fiction writing competition.

Brooken reached for the Palace’s microphone and turned the volume to high.
“Attention, Attention,” he shouted in his squeaking adolescent voice. “We need all of you to clear the building. There was a third group that booked the ice for tonight and they have preference. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

“Who is it,” both clubs shouted in unison from the ice.
“The Cloverdale Star Trek Club," Brooken answered. "They are arriving now by shuttlecraft in the parking lot.” Brooken's voice had a distinct sound of delight.

Suddenly, as if directed by a higher power, both clubs stopped fighting. There was a moment of complete calm - like the eye of a hurricane. Then came the sound of skates on ice as both clubs moved like one angry beast toward the Palace's doors. Their lungs expelled air making the sound of a barbarian on his way to a real blood letting. Both clubs were ready to settle the score with the Trekkers.

Brookens rushed to lock the door after the last Storm Trooper hobbled through. The Palace was quiet and secure. He turned off the lights, locked the cash box in the safe and escaped quietly out the back to his waiting bike feeling very pleased with himself.

Brooken stayed home from school for one week after the incident.
There were rumors both clubs had put out a contract on him for a simulated hit (water balloon to the face).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Darla Dandy and Ladies With a Leash

Darla Dandy was having her hair done at the local beauty shop one afternoon. She was in a frightful hurry. Her poodle Puffy was waiting for her in the car. Puffy had an appointment to have her hair done at Doggie Doos at 1:30 P.M. and it was ten past one already. The stress of making Puffy late for her appointment was causing Doloris to fidget in the chair. She knew how upset Puffy got if she missed her bi monthly visit to Doggie Doos. Puffy enjoyed the royal treatment consisting of a shampoo, cut , blow dry, nail clipping and massage. There was always a special Doggie Biscuit at the end if she was a good girl.

Darla’s hair was finished at 1:40 P.M. Puffy missed her appointed. Puffy was a bad doggie for the next several days. She kept mistaking Darla’s bed for own. She left her doggie droppings on the front porch, not a welcoming site for Darla’s visitors. She sat directly in front of the TV blocking Darla’s view from her favorite chair. She barked in Darla’s ear in the middle of the night and howled whenever Darla put her outside causing many irate phone calls from the neighbors. She bit the mailman and knocked little Jimmy from next door off his tricycle. Darla vowed it would never happen again.

Today Darla Dandy is the proud owner of Cloverdale’s newest business Ladies With a Leash. Never again would a woman suffer what Darla suffered because at Ladies With a Leash a woman and her dog could have their hair done at the same time at the same place! A busy lady could save time but also have a unique bonding moment with her pet.

Darla Dandy welcomes you to her parlor. She is open every day from 9:00 A.M. to 5:20 P.M. and reminds the ladies of Cloverdale that you are only as beautiful as your dog! Make an appointment today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sea Food at the Kicking Donkey Pub

A Vickie Pollard Culinary Creation
Sea Food a la Vickie

Thursday night has always been Seafood Night at the Kicking Donkey Pub in Cloverdale, that is until the last cook was taken to hospital for food poisoning. The new cook, Vickie Pollard, is allergic to sea food - which poses a bit of a problem for the pub's regulars. Vickie proposed changing Sea Food night to Indian Curry Night but management didn't warm up to the idea. She also suggested Navajo tacos but got a thumbs down from the rest of the staff. Vickie Pollard faced a challenge. There are two things Vickie never backs away from - a challenge and walnut rum cake. If sea food was requested then sea food it would be - Pollard Style!
Last Thursday the Kicking Donkey introduced Vickie Ballard's newest dish, Wiener Squid on a sea bed of schooling macaroni garnished with green bean sea weed. The meal was served hot to your table by Vickie's granddaughter Eva in her Little Mermaid Halloween costume. A pint of the the pub's strongest ale came with the meal. After a few sips of the ale you wouldn't know what you were eating anyway.
Oh that Vickie Pollard. Who else could get away with a dish of sea food without sea food.
Vickie thinks she has a hit on her hands. The customers were too shocked to comment. Will the Thursday crowd be back. Time will tell.

Vickie and Pub hostess 'Two Pint Lily' enjoy a cup of tea and a sampling of the pub's famous Walnut Rum Cake. Keeping Vickie away from the desserts is a bit of a challenge.Vickie recently joined Cloverdale's Fat Fighters.
Time will tell.

The Night Out Drive In Theater.

The Night Out Drive In Theater is situated on Highway 1 half way between Dibley in the Downs and Cloverdale in the Shire. The triple feature is about to start. The cars are parked with speaker boxes placed securely in the windows. A steady line of people are returning to their cars with arms full of popcorn, drinks, and candy from the Concession Stand. The sorry excuse for a playground next to the projection tower is deserted. A cool evening breeze is blowing through the inland valleys. It carries the faint smell of the ocean. A pick up truck with its back end full of giggling teenagers is parked in the furthest corner of the lot. That is the row reserved for those that have an interest in something other than the movie's plot. Someone on the front row honks their horn causing a domino effect of honking throughout the several acres of parked cars. It stops when the coming attractions replace the dancing hot dogs and popcorn boxes enticing you to go back to the Concession Stand and spend the remaining money in your pocket.

Twilight darkens to night and the first movie flickers to life. The large screen is back dropped by the dark outline of the Confederacy’s rolling evergreen hills. This is Friday the 13th and to celebrate, The Night Out Drive In Theater starts with the horror classic The Dead are Alive! Thirty minutes into the movie four cars turn on their headlights and exit slowly through the tire spiked gate. A sign hangs over head warning drivers of severe tire damage if they back up. The spikes are a deterrent to keep cars from sneaking into the theater without a ticket. The people in the exiting cars are members of Cloverdale's First Baptist Church's Youth Group 'The Young Crusaders'. They thought The Dead are Alive was a Christian movie about the end of the world, the resurrection and eternal judgment. They stop at the ticket booth to request a refund. The manager is sympathetic but refuses. The Baptists say he carries a grudge against them for picketing the theater when it showed Titanic. The 'Young Crusaders' objected to its overemphasis on love, romance and nudity. They wanted everyone to know the true story of Titanic - God's wrath against a ship its builders claimed was unsinkable. They felt the movie needed to place more of an emphasis on the passenger's horrible deaths by drowning and freezing, thus showing the fate of all those who challenge the might of God.
The manager seems mysteriously pleased about something as they leave, cursing the theater with every vile plaque they could remember from the story of Moses.

Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy a movie at The Night Out Drive In Theater. Several cows from the neighboring farm have taken a liking to the silver screen. They gather every night at the fence to watch the evening's show. This drew the attention of the Animal Psychology Department of Confederacy Junior College. Several students were awarded a college grant to study this oddity. The students monitored the cows by video camera to see if they moved if their view of the screen was blocked by members of the school’s football team performing community service hours for misdeeds caught on camera by Hanne Hush. Another student attached sensors to one cows eyelids to track eye movements. Was the cow watching the screen or the nearby concession stand? The College's Department of Animal Dissection and Taxidermy captured several cows to study their brains. It was thought the cinema watching cows might have larger brains than your non cinema grazing cows. The results were inconclusive. The meat from the butchered cows provided several delicious fund raising barbecues sponsored by the college.

The Dead are coming to life. The stillness is going to be woken by screams and moos.
I’ll stop now and concentrate on my box of popcorn and diet coke.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Maurice Moss and his Wonderland Bakery

Maurice Moss opened his bakery in Cloverdale in 1968. Baker Moss is known throughout the Confederacy for his culinary creations of exquisite delights. His shop is a wonderland for the old and young alike.

“Its Magic,” said Amberlynn Abby as she accompanied her mother on a recent visit to acquire a birthday cake for her eleventh birthday. She moved from display case to display case, nose pressed up against the glass examining each creation with the same attention to detail a mother gives a newborn.
“Take your time dear,” said Ariel Abby as she sat by the window with a cup of warm cocoa and a whipped wonderland, a cupcake of moist devil’s food cake topped with four varieties of fresh buttermilk frostings and crowned with a coronet of fresh whipped cream. Ariel was always on a diet but there were days when the fragrance from the bakery's ovens warmed the air of High Street drawing shoppers into the enchanted world and his marvels.

Amberlynn found her cake - a toadstool village; afterwards she and her mother remained at Moss’s for the next quarter hour bathed in the fragrance of fresh bread and pastry delights. They sat by the sixteen squared window and watched their friends and neighbors stop and look through the glass to admire the beautiful creations.
Mrs. Abby looked at her watch. It was time to go. Mother and daughter stood, thanked Baker Moss, and stepped out onto the High Street to carry on with their lives in our hamlet of happiness - Cloverdale.

Come visit us. We will keep the light on for you
and a Moss cupcake waiting in the cupboard.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Valentine Cards at Donaldson's Department Store

Donaldson's Department Store in beautiful downtown Cloverfield in the Shire announces the arrival of several new Valentine Cards. If you're looking for just the right thing to say to your sweetheart look no further than our overstocked Greeting Card Department. If we don't have a card that says what you want to say better then you could do it yourself, then it wasn't worth saying in the first place (or something to that effect).

Here are a few samples to get your Valentine's heart a fluttering:

The Confederacy of Dunces 2 second Super Bowl Ad. Did you Miss it?

Life is a Masterpiece. Are you living it to the fullest?
Come and experience a slower, richer life.
Come to the Confederacy of Dunces
We'll Keep the Light On for You.

Confederacy of Dunces Ministry of Tourism and Deportation.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lin Woo our Newest Dunce in the Confederacy.

Lin Woo during a Morning Jog

Lin Woo was found early one morning standing at the border crossing between the Confederacy and the Other World. His family abandoned him in the middle of the night. He was wearing a note pinned to his shirt. The note read:
“This is Lin Woo. We don’t know what to do with him. He loves to jog half nude. The neighbor children throw snowballs and rocks at him. The police keep bringing him home. We are at our wits end. He is an embarrassment to our family. We heard about this place called the Confederacy of Dunces and thought he would fit in with you. Please take him. His belongings and his saving are in the suitcase. Please look after him. We love him but can no longer look after him.”
Lin Woo was taken to the Cloverdale’s Welcome Shelter where he stayed while arrangements were made.

Today Lin Woo is happy. He jogs every morning without a shirt. He doesn’t bother anyone. He is just a bit ‘different’ but so are the rest of us in the Confederacy. Lin has a small apartment in the basement of Cloverdale’s Hardware Hank where he works as a janitor.

The Confederacy Welcomes our Newest Arrival - Lin Woo.